As part of an overhaul of Arlington Park’s wagering format for the upcoming 2011 racing season, the track plans to lower the minimum wager on the Pick 4 and Pick 5 to 50 cents and lower the takeout rate on the Pick 5 and High 5 to 15%.
The Pick 5 wager requires a bettor to correctly select the winner in the final five races of the day. In the event there is no ticket sold which designates the five official winners of the Pick 5 races, 10% of the net pool will be distributed to the holders of the tickets that correctly pick the most races correctly, and 90% of the net Pick 5 pool will be carried over to the next day.
Even when someone correctly picks the official winner in all five races, 10% of that day’s net Pick 5 pool will be distributed to the holders of the tickets that correctly picks four winners correctly and 90% of that day’s net Pick 5 pool, plus 100% of the carryover (if any), will be distributed to the holders of the tickets that correctly picked all five winners.
The 90-10 split between the major pool (winner or carryover) and the minor pool (those with next highest number of winners) will be in effect for all “Pick” wagers that involve carryover pools – the Pick 4, 5, 6 and Place Pick 9.
“By reducing the minimum bet to 50-cents and dropping the takeout rate to 15%, the Pick 5 carryover pool should grow more rapidly to ensure the possibility of large carryover pools resulting in potentially huge payoffs,” said Tony Petrillo, general manager of the Chicago area track. “Customers have been responsive to wagers with minimums under $1 and we are glad to be able to offer our Pick 4 bettors that option as well.”
In addition to lowering the cost of the Pick 4 and Pick 5 wagers, the track is dropping the minimum wager on the last race High 5 to 10-cents as well as lowering its takeout rate to 15%, and bringing back the Quinella wager on every race every Sunday during the season. The Quinella, a $2 wager, requires a bettor to correctly select the first two finishers in a race, regardless of order.
Arlington will alo offer a $1 Pick 6 generally covering the day’s final six races; rolling $1 Pick 3 wagers; and rolling $2 Daily Double wagers (with a $1 wheel option) as well as the $1 Place Pick 9 covering the day’s first nine races.
In a new twist to win, place, and show wagering, on a selected race on selected days on-track only Arlington Park will offer guests an opportunity to play a $12 Last Call – which consists of a $2 win, $4 place and $6 show wager on the same horse on the same ticket. The concept behind the Last Call is based on the “ladder” principle of stacking a wager to maximize the chances of making a profit.
A release from the track said that in many cases when the horse finishes third, the $6 show portion of the wager will cover the cost of the bet (as long as the horse returns $4 to show). If the horse finishes second, the bettor is likely to make a small profit and should the horse win, the bettor collects on all three parts of the wager.
While a fan can wager in this format on any race at any time, the Last Call offers a special twist in that losing Last Call tickets (which will be available when wagering with a roving mutuel clerk either in the park area, on the apron or in the million room and be printed on special paper) can be redeemed for a free beer or other beverage.
“The Last Call concept, besides being a good wagering strategy, adds an extra twist of fun to the traditional win, place and show wagers,” Petrillo said. “Even if a bettor’s horse doesn’t finish in the top three, he or she will still be a winner by getting a free drink.”